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Dr. Davidson
Dr. Davidson, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 1058
Experience:  Board Certified Specialist in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
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I have a severe allergic reaction to personal lubricant. how

Resolved Question:

i have a severe allergic reaction to personal lubricant. how do i treat this?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Davidson replied 7 years ago.
Hi there, and thanks for your question. There are many patients who suffer from allergic reactions to various ointments, creams, or lotions including personal lubricants. The ultimate goal is to limit exposure to these lubricants as your reaction will likely recur. In terms of immediate treatment, oral Benadryl is a good first choice. The adult dose is 25 mg every 4 to 6 hours. Otherwise topical cortisone ointments are acceptable, however they are sometimes insufficient. You may need a prescription strength topical steroid in the future. In the meantime, it is important to undergo allergy testing to determine what specific component may be in the lubricant that causes the reaction. The type of test required is called a contact allergy test and involves placing patches on the skin for 48 to 72 hours after which they are removed and reactions are assessed. Standard panels include testing for common ingredients in lubricants and other ointments. Once you know what you may be allergic to you can then look for substitutions that do not include the specific chemicals. That way you can feel assured that you will not experience an additional reaction. I wish you well. Regards, ***** *****
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I have not seen any improvement in 5 days. I am red, swollen and have lots of bumps all over my vulva and into my vagina. It is excruciatingly uncomfortable. I am not worried about the future, what do I do right now to feel better?

Expert:  Dr. Davidson replied 7 years ago.
I'm sorry for your pain and symptoms. You may require a short course of oral steroids to rapidly reduce your symptoms. These tend to begin working in 48-72 hours. You'll need a prescription for them, and I would therefore recommend seeing your doctor. In the meantime, you can also apply topical steroid creams/ointments to help. You likely used an over-the-counter variety, but will need a prescription strength version. One that works well is Desonide 0.05% ointment. This is safe for application over the vulva and into the vagina. I wish you well. Regards, ***** *****
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Can a gynecolo9gist answer my question any better?
Expert:  Dr. Davidson replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for your additional information. As an allergist, I treat allergic reactions on a daily basis and this sounds very much consistent with one. The primary modes of therapy are antihistamines like Benadryl and topical or oral steroids based on the severity of the reaction. I don't believe a gynecologist could add anything more than this. However, I believe an examination with a gynecologist is a very good idea. Again, I wish you well. Regards, ***** *****
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Does it make any difference that I have swollen tender lymph nodes in my groin area on both sides? Do I need anitbiotics for this?
Expert:  Dr. Davidson replied 7 years ago.
No, not necessarily. Patients who develop significant contact allergy reactions trigger inflammation in the area. It is very common to see enlarged lymph nodes in patients with such reactions. Considering the location of your reaction, the most logical site for nodes to be enlarged would be the groin. Should the overlying skin above these notes become red or if you begin to develop a fever, these may be signs of a lymphadenitis requiring antibiotics.
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